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District Judge, 321st Judicial District

  • James Carter (Rep)

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    Robert Wilson (Rep) Attorney

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Biographical Information

What strengths do you bring to this position?

What changes, if any, would you make regarding the budget of this position? What specifically would you do and what would it cost. How would you monitor the results?

What additional improvements would you like to see regarding Child Protective Services? How would you implement the changes and monitor the results?

What is your opinion regarding child custody, parents, grandparents rights? Do you support mediation and arbitration options?

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Experience I have practiced law for 20 years, 18 of which have been focused on family law, handling cases involving divorce, child custody, child support, CPS, the Attorney General, adoption and termination.
Education I graduated from Robert E. Lee H.S. in 1989. I graduated from Washington & Lee University in 1993, receiving my B.A. in English & Biology. I graduated from the Texas Tech School of Law in 1996.
Campaign Phone (903) 530-4814
Campaign Email
I have practiced family law for the last 18 years and handled all types of family law matters including divorce, child custody, child support, CPS, Attorney General matters, protective orders, adoption and termination. I have a very broad base of experience and I have a clear vision of how to manage this court that involves making it more effective at protecting children and families, improving accountability, improving transparency and increasing efficiency. I will follow my core values of professionalism, honor and hard work in all my actions as a judge.
I would like to consider formation of an Office of Child Representation and an Office of Parent Representation to provide representation to children and parents in CPS cases where removal and termination are sought. This would involve the appointing of “captive attorneys” whose only job would be to represent these children and parents. These lawyers would not be strained by having to serve a private practice as is the case with the current contract lawyer structure. With this structure, these children and parents could get better representation that could result in a savings to taxpayers since we could likely satisfy the representation need with less lawyers on staff. These offices would be monitored by an oversight board focused on accounting for these offices. Formation of these offices is laid out in recent changes to the Texas Family Code.
I would like to see more accountability for the CPS caseworkers and investigators to insure they were diligent in their investigation of claims of child abuse and neglect and in the monitoring of placements. I do believe the recent statutory changes that will affect the agency might help with this and also increase employee retention. As to the CPS cases in the 321st, I would insure that CPS is treated as a litigant like every other and given the same right to present evidence in support of its case, whether it be for removal, termination or reunification. I will be able to monitor the work of these caseworkers by inquiring into the thoroughness of their work and then hearing their responses in testimony.
First, I will treat every litigant fairly and ensure they are provided due process as they are guaranteed by our Constitution without regard to race, gender, national origin, religion or socioeconomic status. I will insure everyone is accorded their rights to have a hearing, have their evidence heard and then given a decision in a timely manner according to existing law. Therefore, with each custody case, I will simply hear the evidence and decide what is in the best interest of the child, as is my duty under law. Grandparents have specific rights under the Texas Family Code and I will certainly follow those provisions where grandparents are involved. Sometimes, grandparents can be critical in the placement of children where there are problems involving the parents. I strongly support mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution as vital to reducing litigant costs, reducing conflict and aiding in docket management.